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Shepparton to Swan Hill

Ben Longden

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I had a great day... You could (almost) say it was better than sex.


I did a flight, the 150 nautical mile trip as part of the PPL, and decided to see the Swan Hill area from the sky. I'm used to the drive from Echuca with work, but I wanted to see the lakes..


Bloody hell, the drought is terrible, looking at it from the sky. Remember, farms produce the food you eat: No farms, no food. Check the piccies.


The worst and most telling part is Lake Boga. The once secret Catalina Flying Boat maintenance depot is stone cold, motherless dry. Last winter it was magnificent. Now its not. The lake that is... the town and folk are bloody great.


Swan Hill was amazing.. busy with 35 aircraft coming in and around for the Megafauna trip. It was an interesting experience coming in, listening to all the traffic and then hearing one mans training become instinct as he had a real engine failure in a Drifter doing a real forced landing north of the city. His instructor would be proud.


The only real drama was one plane departing on Runway 22 - when its reciprocal, 08 was the active.


Lunch was nice and peaceful. I even met up with a Movietone News stringer from the 1950s.


Six landings all up,mostly touch and go including a pit stop at Kerang. I have to say the Universe was looking after me, as I did my best ever landing in front of the crowds at Swan Hill.





Approaching Kow Swamp at 4500 ft



A sad sight - a drying up lake



Worst of all, Lake Boga is dry and drought ravaged




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